This episode marks one or two 'firsts' that I think are worth mentioning. It's the first episode in what I like to call the 'planet-of-the-week' format - that is, a self-enclosed episode not following the overarching storyline of the series. It's also the first episode where the characters express reluctance to interfere with another culture (although not the first episode to bring up a moral dilemma - that was done in The Enemy Within where Col. Kennedy pointed out that, evil or not, and dangerous or not, the symbiote inside Maj. Kawalsky was still a living, sentient being). And, as I'm sure all the Sam/Jack 'shippers out there have noticed, it's the first episode with 'chemistry' between those two characters - they share a moment alone when Carter has changed into her new dress, and later in the episode O'Neill has a wry smile on his lips as he remembers the time on another planet when Carter "drank that stuff that made you take off your..."
Its departure from the goa'uld storyline means the episode can try out what would become its trademark tongue-in-cheek humour, expertly executed by Richard Dean Anderson. This is only evidenced in a couple of scenes, mostly through his interactions with Major Carter, but it's the start of what turns out to be a huge part of the show. Despite being a stand-alone episode it still has room for character development - Captain Doctor Samantha Carter gets to show off her captain side, by helping out the subjugated women of the planet, and in a knife fight with a powerful chieftain. Sadly this is it and the other characters stay firmly in the roles they've already been given - indeed*, Teal'c only has about three lines in the whole episode.
This episode tends to get a lot of hate in the fan community, which I don't think it deserves. Sure, it's a weak episode, but I've never hated an episode. If I was channel-flicking and Emancipation was playing, I'd stop and watch it. Even when I watch through my DVDs for fun, I still watch this episode. So, if you've not seen the episode but have heard bad things - please ignore them, watch it anyway and form your own opinion.
*Sorry, I couldn't resist